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tv   [untitled]    March 3, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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and if 20,000 guys didn't do the job, they come back with 40,000. it would have happened. it would have postponed that, though. long answer that, would have happened. >> was there already discussion in the north about some people saying let the south go at that point because they were so scouraged. there was no win. >> yeah. could be. you know, with donelson, that changed. that kind of talk went away. if it happened when he was a failure, maybe. also, too, donelson is the first blow to confederacies for gaining foreign recognition. could have been possible for the
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confederacy getting foreign recognition with a successful defense of donelson and henry, yeah. we're hitting a gray area here of what ifs. >> it could have changed the t. if you didn't hear, he said it could have cost the presidential election. could be. but two years in is an awful long time in politics. yes, sir? >> when henry -- when the navy took henry, the army didn't even get there yet. with belmont and with seeing columbus, shouldn't the navy have anticipated more elevation of their against? >> yeah, probably. >> i mean that was a major problem for them. >> yeah, it was. but the gun boat design was interesting. they were designed for anti-ship operations. so the guns have trouble elevating.
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>> right. >> yeah. they probably should have. they didn't have much intelligence. they knew their existence. fort donelson, even today people have trouble with the name. you still have fort donaldson. i get e-mails like that. so, yeah, they probably in hindsight they should have. but there are a couple things working on -- i'll counter that argument with the shooting not being able to shoot high enough. on the river here, most of the shots were overshot. so they were able to elevate. but what you have is -- on the gunboats here, here at the time you're on floodwaters, very choppy, the boats bouncing. those looking down the hill at the guns, they look pretty big. i challenge -- i encourage any of you to walk forward to the gun line and look back. it's a thin little line with a couple black dots. and if you're a couple hundred
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yards away and you have this big 46 pound gun trying to hit that dot, a tough target. >> basically, it was a mile away. >> at first. and then they closed in. they closed in as close as they could, point blank. they were able to shoot down to the unprotected parts of the boat. >> the advent of the telegraph, did any death lead to micromanagement by the politicians? and the generals? >> the short question was with the vent of the telegraph, was there an increase in micromanagement? certainly that wouldn't happen. look what happened to e-mail. that never -- how do you deal with e-mail by the way. yes, it did happen.
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in fact, grant had problems with hallick. he was telling grant while he's at fort henry, do an end run take. clarksville and then grant is looking at the map. he says what's on the ground? that's impossible. i do know what grant is able to say to himself is that i know the boss is getting impatient and he wants me to move. i need to cut the bridge at clarksville in order to do that i have to take fort donelson. and so grant is being micromanaged. but he's able to deal with it. part of that is because he's 500 miles away. don't you wish you had that with your boss? >> at the same time, you also had feedback going to washington where lincoln is sitting there and -- >> in this particular case, grant was insulated from that. that's probably his betterment. hallick is not letting any of that stuff from washington
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filter down. hallick is in charge of the communications. so hallick discussing things with mick clelian and discussing things with the war department. the reason is hallick is looking at grant as a suborder nant. you do my bidding. no more, no less. grant was able to selectively ignore some things. but he got the tone of what hallick wanted out of that. he is able to operate successfully. yes, sir? >> can you elaborate a little bit more about columbus belmont and how that impacted this area when the war came to fort henry? >> if you look at the map of confederate defenses in '61 and '62, the mississippi river had about seven major fortifications
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starting with columbus working down past memphis to vicksburg. there is about seven of them. they're 30 to 40 feet wide. they're massive construction. and then you see the little chicken scratch out here in the water battery and fort donelson, you can see where the confederate majority of effort was. when they were concentrating on was the mississippi river. because they knew that's what the federals wanted. they wanted control of the mississippi. so they built fort after fort after fort on the mississippi river. for the tennessee river, you had fort henry and fort heiman which are across the river from each other, that's it. that's all they had. and fort henry is built on a
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swamp. columbus had dozens on the river. you can just see where they're focusing their effort. it wasn't on the tennessee or cumberland river. it was on the mississippi. cut the rail line off. once that's done, whoever is stuck up there in columbus is trapped.
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>> so there wasn't much of a battle. >> there was zero battle. they just pulled back. thnext battle was on the tennessee line. and that came a quick battle, too. iron clads ran the batteries. the union army got behind the fort. nothing there to stop it. so fort henry and fort deonelso fell because fort henry did. just fell right behind it. yes, sir? i'm sorry? >> the location of fort henry, was it not doomed from the way it was set up? >> it was doomed right off the bat. the location of fort henry was built at kirkland's landing. i don't know why they built it there. a number of gentlemen -- captain taylor is the most colorful man.
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these people found problems with it. the fort was started the summer of 1861 when the river was low, low water. and the fort did have a great field of fire. for three uninterrupted miles, you point a cannon, you get three miles. and that's pretty good. but they didn't take into account is the river floods. and captain taylor was an artilleryman who came out from nashville to teach the guys how to shoot the big guns. and during one of his afternoon walks, he's up above the hills around the fort. he is kind of noticing these mud rings up on the trees. and he says -- what the hell is this? it's mud rings from the floods. you got to be kidding me. i mean it's kind of -- okay, mud ring here. and it is over the fort. you know, the mud rings are -- you have to be kidding. so he's writing a report. he's writing to the state of
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tennessee, the confederate engineer bureau, confederate army and guys come out and take a look at it. they say, too late. keep building. and that's really what happened. now was there someureaucratic deal, a real estate deal on this? i don't know. from an engineering standpoint, what were you people thinking about? >> like general shea. >> and at the time of the battle, i think you're mostly familiar with it, the river was rising. the confederate gunners are standing in water fighting their guns. that was the timing of it. so the general who is commanding at fort henry at the time, he's
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looking at the army moving around his rear and looking at the gunboats. he is looking at the waters. he says i'm out of here. he sends his guys to fort donelson. so leaving behind the skeleton crew with the heavy batteries to hold off the union. so, yeah, i -- i don't know how to explain why they chose that site. any site along that stretch of the river go a mile up or mile south, any position would have been better than that one. even today since the dam is built, it's under 20 feet of water. and i'm not sure there is much of anything left. the existing photos from 1932 had a picture of an old man and the fort was made. the fort walls was probably three feet high when they were originally 10 to 20 feet high.
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and now being underwater, i can't imagine anything is left of it. unfortunately. it would be neat. sir, you had a question earlier. >> yeah. who was the overall commander again for that region? did he catch a lot of flack -- >> north or south? >> did he catch a lot of flack for not having indepth defense? >> the original commander for the south was albert sidney johnson. he was the western department. after it is any johnson was the highest ranking confederate and very distinguished career. indian fighter in the regular army before the war. he was department commander in the pacific right before war and came across the prairie. he had a tough job. the south had a departmental system in their -- in how they work things. johnson was responsible for raising aries, equipping them, dealing with all the governors,
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getting supplies from the governors. he was a military guy. he was also a politician. you know, he had to deal with the politicians. hard, hard job. the union had a far more extreme line central authority here. general johnson will catch heck for the failure of fort henry and he is scrambling to recover from that which leads to the battle shiloh. he is forming the -- after fort donelson and fort henry fall, the union, army of the tennessee, will move to pittsburgh landing. general johnston, albert sidney johnson is collecting every force he can out of bowling green national symbol and this is his counter strike. and that's where the battle shiloh comes about. someone else first? yes. wait, you already asked one. you already asked one, too. come on. >> the breakout, there were a lot of other people went along
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with him. now did they -- the different brigade generals, the different group leaders say you want to go force? not whole groups went. >> that is a case by case basis. the question is general forest in fort donelson, he takes his own command. but what about the other guys that went with him? about another 800 to 1200 guys went with force. how did that come about? was it in the question was, was it a -- i'll just say. it was a case by case basis. word got out that forest was going to make a run for it and break out. if you had a horse, like if you're an artilleryman and you have a horse, get on the dang horse and follow him. if you're on foot, that's kind of tricky. a lot of guys would have loved to break out but they were on foot. it was being overtaken by
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cavalry. so a lot of guys didn't make the bold choice to escape. so really came down to if you have a horse and got word there is even a breakout and if you wanted to or not, that's how it came down to. grant's cavalry, he is under lieutenant colonel grant, didn't go with force. they refused to go. forest asked them to go, alerted them, didn't want to go. there were other guys begging to go. so it was really an absolute individual -- by that time, an individual decision. some guys tried to cross the river. some guys tried to breakthrough the lines, sneak through. >> it was a -- yeah. and that's what makes head counting after the battle so tough. there are some guys that they were captured, put on the role. but they had an opportunity and just walked away. gone. he is listed as a prisoner, but where the heck is he? i don't know. so record keeping is -- was very lax on both sides during this
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campaign. which makes it kind of fun as a historian. but if you look for a definitive answer, i don't know. there is no definitive answer for that. >> even if they were prisoners that walked away? >> i'm sorry? >> after they surrendered, some walked away? >> yes, absolutely. the most famous case is brigadier johnson. he surrendered with those guys. he didn't sign any paperwork. but he was within the lines. and most of the guys were being put on the transports and like, well, a couple more boats left to go. tell you what, captain, how about you and i, we'll get up. that's what they d they walked off the lines. question? >> yes. first of all, thank you for being k is fabulous. >> thank you. >> the life of the common soldier. based upon your research that you've done, for a moment can we step back 150 years right now,
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february 11th, 4:00 in the afternoon. what's going on both sides? you said they're obviously digging crazily. >> on the 11th, it's chaotic. wlau have is reenacted. bless the re-enactors. they had a re-enactment of the guys camped out at fort henry and they made that march from fort henry to fort donelson like they did 149 years and so many months and days. they made that march. god bless them. my goodness with the nasty weather we had last night particularly, they did. that back to the question. what's going right here right now 4:00 in the afternoon? chaotic. general togan allowed himself to be captured. that was not the original plan, by the way. he was going -- he sent colonel heiman in charge of the column to fort donelson. he rode back to for the henry to
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checkup on the gunners about to open fire on the federal gunboats. and he got caught up in the battle. and he got all animated. the combat does that. you get all excited. he was serving guns with the rest of them. oops. he got surrendered. so now we're in the days after that. the colonel is the ranking colonel of this whole confederate column. and reminder, general who is not just a commander for fort henry, he was cls commander of fort donelson. it was a combined campaign. 'lo he allowed himself to be captured there. he left them without a leader. i find him at fault for that. combat was very heroic. he got caught up in things and got captured. johnson will be sitting here.
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that was quickly overshadowed. and then later, let's see, tomorrow, i believe, general floyd will show up. and then general buckner. so very chaotic. what the con fed rats are doing on the 11th, they're still recovering from the fort henry ordeal and long march and nasty go here. general gilmer should be here any time. he is major of engineers. he'll start sketching out what we now know as outer defenses. and that -- that might be happening right now. starting to dig tonight. how is that? digging party. >> wow. >> so that's what's going on now. and just comes to mind at this time, the big guns, the columbia down there and the 6 1/2 inch rifle are not even in operation yet. not even mounted. they're waiting for spare parts. they did test fire the columbia a couple weeks ago.
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but it blew -- it bent the carriage that it's on. they needed extra parts. those are being forged in clarksville and sent forward. the sixclarksville. the six inch rifle is missing a couple of parts too. it would be firing in operation,ed columbia, if it is in operation at that time, because of the damage done to the carriage, it could only fire in one direction. what they did with what they had was remarkable. i think we will have time for one more. you are up. >> we were talking about where the south washington was not originally planned. >> let me tell you about that one. my publisher if he sees this probably will not be happy. the title was "we are defeated
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valor lives". in the establishing world, when you give a manuscript over you lose a lot of control over what happens. it was decided, this was ten years ago, provocative title and that is what they wanted and they insisted upon it. i had to accept it or find another publisher. i said go ahead and establish it. so thank you for the question. that was the original title of the book. and i do not make the point. there are so many different points in the book, that you can't say this is where it was lost. this is the most desizive point. it is -- i'm real proud to be here to be part of the
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commemoration experiences here and i'm so glad you made the time and trouble to make it as well. god bless you all folks, and thank you for coming. and i will pass it onto david richardson. plaus plas [ applause ] >> what an honoro have you here, sir, thank you very much. days after the battle, general grant wrote that the name fort donaldson will be forever spelled in capitals across our nation. this story, the campaign has some of the most incredible stories associated with it. there are thousands of stories and it is a pleasure and honor to preserve those stories and
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resources at the park. we who work here, this is our home away from home. but this park is yours and it belongs to you. as much of an honor as it is for us, we thank you for making this possible. everything that we do here is possible because of your support. professor will be out front to say hello and sign your book. have a peaceful and safe day. thank you for being here. [ applause ] >> as commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the civil war continues, join us every saturday at 6:00 and 10:00 pm and sundays at 11:00 am for
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programs on the civil war. go to and to keep up with us during the week follow us on twitter. at >> there is a new website for american history tv where you can find our schedules and preview our videos and access ahtv's history tweets and social media. follow american history tv all weekend every weekend on c-span3 and online at >> hosted by our comcast cable partner. recently visited many historic sites in louisiana's third
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largest city. >> here i clyde and bon knee parker who died as they lived. this explains the fact that her body had more bullet holes than clyde's. anyone of the bullets would have been fatal to both. after killing 14 people and coming safely through so many gun battles, it did not seem advisable to fire just one bullet. >> thbecause their crime story began in east texas and involved louisiana, they are connected to the 1930s story of shreveport as
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well. probably most people associate them with an intense two year period from 1932 to 1934 when they were involved in a string of armed robberies and murders throughout this part of the united states. we think that they actlly met initially in 1930 when bonnie parker was working as a waitress and clyde went to prison. their first crime took place in texas. the shreveport times was reporting their exploits in the newspaper and people in this area kept up with it as they did the gangters in american history. it was the age of john dillinger
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and pretty boy floyd. all three of those all were killed by almolaw enforcement i 1934. so people were engaged in that story buy these criminals in the great depression. in 1934 they were inply cated in a prison escape in texas a man named raymond hamilton and so that is when the net of law enforcement began to close around them. after the murder of the prison guard early in 1934. so it was april of 1934 that they were in and around shreveport. there was a car that was stolen
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here and abandoned it in kansas and his prints proved that he had been in this area even before he was spotted here. we knew that he had been in the area. days before the ambush took place, there was a local cafe here not too far from where are standing called the majestic cafe, at this point, clyde was spotted somewhere near the majestic cafe and someone in the neighborhood phoned the local shor authorities and it was because of that report law enforcement from the region including texas rangers knew that they were in the vicinity and that is when
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the net began to close around bonnie and clyde. they were ambushed not far from the road and the ambush was laid in place in that part of louisiana who had good intelligence what their movements were and they laid in wait for them on a stretch of road and as many know, opened fire on the car that they were riding in and they both suffered over 50 separate bullet wounds each in that ambush. the story like others like that from this ear ra is a part of a broader social commentary about america and the gea


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